Why This 30-Minute Cycling Interval Workout Works

woman in spin class

Are you looking forward to cruising on your bicycle this summer through a silky warm breeze? Imagine having even more strength and energy this year and cruising up those hills.

It’s no secret that interval training is a smart way to increase your fitness. And if you’re a cyclist, it prepares you for a great outdoor cycling season. A good half hour of sweating indoors on rainy days pays off when the weather improves and you set out on the open road.

So what is the next step? I recommend making a plan [can hyperlink your cycling plan here]. Look at one month at a time. Each week slightly increases the length and difficulty of the workouts. I recommend 1-2 days of interval workouts (structured high-intensity) per week.

You can get a good interval workout with an indoor cycling class, but your own personal workouts are better, because they are designed for your cycling program, whereas indoor cycling workouts are designed for maximum calorie burn and weight loss.

How do these intervals make a difference?

I’m glad you asked. One way is through stress. Intervals are designed at a level of intensity that you could not maintain for much longer than an hour. This “stresses” the body, causing it to adapt by making improvements in response. It adapts to try to make the higher level its new normal. And thus we get fitter.

Another ingredient in interval training is rest. The term “interval” is actually referring to the rest periods within the high intensity workout. It is during the rest intervals that we recover from the previous dose of “stress” before we get ready to do the next one.

Interval workouts are also time efficient. Spending 30 minutes on an indoor bike demands about the same energy as a much longer outdoor bike ride. There is no coasting on the indoor bike, so you utilize every minute for improving fitness.

So grab your water, a towel, and some music and let’s get going!

30 minute Interval Cycling Workout:

 

Warm-Up = 3 min Total

Time RPM/Technique Notes Intensity
3 min 80-100/Light-Moderate Progress from easy to moderate. Easy to Moderate

Interval Set 1 = 8 min Total

Time RPM/Technique Notes Intensity
2 min 70-90/Prepare Hold moderate intensity to prepare Moderate
4 min 80-100/Intervals 4 intervals:

:30 push by increasing resistance & leg speed; go for breathless.

:30 recover by decreasing resistance & leg speed; back to easy.

Moderate
2 min 80-100/Recover Light-moderate effort. Easy

Interval Set 2 = 8 min Total

Time RPM/Technique Notes Intensity
4 min 80-100/Intervals 8 intervals:

:20 sprint by increasing resistance & leg speed; go for breathless.

:10 recover by decreasing leg speed, but keep the same resistance

High
4 min 80-100/Recover Light-moderate resistance. Continue easy to moderate intensity. Easy

Interval Set 3 = 12 min Total including cooldown

Time RPM/Technique Notes Intensity
6 min 80-100/Intervals 4 intervals:

:60 push by increasing resistance & leg speed; go for breathless.

:30 recover by decreasing resistance & leg speed; get back to easy.

Moderate
6 min 80-100/Recover Light-moderate resistance. Continue easy intensity as you cool down and stop Easy

 

Sara Fletcher

Sara is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer with 6 years experience and holds certifications in Cancer Exercise Specialization, ACE Nutrition, and Schwinn Indoor Cycling. She cares most about helping every person take control of their health and achieve lasting strength and confidence. Her personal passion is competitive cycling, which she has been doing for 8 years, including two in Europe. She also enjoys fitness writing and spending time with her husband and daughter.

Sara Fletcher

About Sara Fletcher

Sara is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer with 6 years experience and holds certifications in Cancer Exercise Specialization, ACE Nutrition, and Schwinn Indoor Cycling. She cares most about helping every person take control of their health and achieve lasting strength and confidence. Her personal passion is competitive cycling, which she has been doing for 8 years, including two in Europe. She also enjoys fitness writing and spending time with her husband and daughter.

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